Palmyra High School sports teams recognized at final Board of Education meeting

Supervisor of Athletics Mike Papenberg recognized the band, color guard, soccer, football, cross country and tennis teams at the BOE meeting on Dec. 14.

The Palmyra High School Boys Soccer Team celebrates after a goal.

Much of the Dec. 14 Board of Education meeting was dedicated to recognizing the fall student athletes at Palmyra High School. Supervisor of Athletics Mike Papenberg recognized the band, color guard, soccer teams, football team, cross country teams and the girls tennis team at the final board meeting of the year.

“It was a season that saw Palmyra sports programs rally together for the betterment of the school,” Papenberg said. “Coaches, athletes and band members began their season in the early summer. A lot of time and energy was expended to help the school enjoy a great deal of success.”

After the Charles Street Holiday Trio — a group of three musicians from Charles Street School — kicked off the meeting with a holiday ensemble, Papenberg began his series of recognitions with the marching band and color guard.

The marching band set a record this year at the championships with a score of 90.95, shattering the previous record of 88.6. The band took fourth place overall and won awards for Best Music Ensemble and Best Music Effect. The band had numerous top three finishes throughout the season and won numerous other awards including Best Percussion, Best Visual and Best Music.

The band also represented the school and the town by participating in football games, pep rallies and parades throughout the season. Several band members recently played at the borough’s holiday celebration on Dec. 9.

“I would like to congratulate (band director) Mr. Moore and our marching band as well as our color guard on a tremendous fall season,” Papenberg said.

Papenberg then acknowledged the football team, which finished with a record of 4–6 and won three of their last four games. Senior linebacker David Lynch was named to the All-County and All-Academic teams and was a New Jersey MINI MAX Football Club award winner.

“The team had 19 varsity letter winners, so the future looks bright,” Papenberg said. “With the experience these players gained this year and their hard work in the off season, 2017 should be an outstanding year.”

This year’s cheerleading team was one of the largest the school has seen with 28 members. The cheerleaders fostered school spirit day in and day out by participating in pep rallies and encouraging the football players. Athletes who had never participated in cheerleading before tried out this year and became part of an amazing team.

Both the girls and boys cross country teams had great seasons. Several runners from the teams were medalists at the Holy Cross Challenge Cup. Papenberg said the teams have some of the best young runners in the county and congratulated them on an impressive season.

The girls tennis team finished the season with a record of 13–7–3. Papenberg said the team was under great leadership that helped them succeed this year.

“This is an impressive improvement after graduating six seniors, five of which played varsity,” Papenberg said. “After checking the record books, this season marks the first girls tennis playoff victory in school history with a 4–1 victory over Johnson High School.”

The girls soccer team had a memorable season with a record of 13–7–3. The team made several huge accomplishments throughout the season, including beating Burlington City as well as Riverside and upsetting the №2 seed in the quarterfinals. Senior Liza Tait broke the girls soccer school record for most career shutouts.

“The team showed that with hard work, dedication and commitment, they were able to have a very successful season. The girls represented the program, high school and town proudly on and off the field,” Papenberg said.

The last team to be recognized at the meeting was the boys soccer team, which finished the season with a record of 17–5. They were able to defeat longtime rival Riverside High School to continue their undefeated streak against them that dates back more than a decade. The team was also able to defeat neighborhood rival school Cinnaminson High School in an unforgettable match.

The team also went to the sectional finals for the third time in four years. Papenberg said despite coming up short, the team is hungry to win it next year.

Senior soccer player Damien Jennings was voted onto the All-County, All-South Jersey and All-State teams.

“I’d like to congratulate all of our sports teams and student athletes as well as our marching band and color guard,” Papenberg said. “This was a very exciting fall season for all of our sports. The teamwork and dedication shown was contagious and is going to trickle down for all the sports as well starting with this record season.”

This was the final Board of Education meeting of 2016. The reorganization meeting will take place on on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Delaware Avenue School.